NYCFC’s Villa Named MLS MVP

(David Villa celebrating a goal in Houston on September 30th – USA Today Sports)

New York City Football Club’s David Villa has been named Major League Soccer’s 2016 Most Valuable Player.

Villa edged out a pair of Red Bulls, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Sacha Kljestan to win the prestigious Landon Donovan MVP Award for the first time.

“I’m very proud to represent NYCFC and to receive this award. It’s a big day for me because this is one of the things I said I wanted to do when I came here two years ago.

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Pitt, Northwestern To Meet In Pinstripe Bowl

(At Yankee Stadium on Tuesday morning were Scott Barnes Pittsburgh Athletic Director, Pat Narduzzi Pittsburgh Head Coach, Jim Phillips – Northwestern Vice President for Athletics & Recreation, Randy Levine – New York Yankees President, Pat Fitzgerald – Northwestern Head Coach, Mark Holtzman – New Era Pinstripe Bowl Executive Director (hidden)Bill Adams New Era Vice President of Special Projects – Photo by Jason Schott)

Pittsburgh, the No. 23-ranked team in the country, and Northwestern University will play in the 2016 New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, December 28, with kickoff scheduled for 2:00 p.m.

This matchup has sentimentality for the Yankees, as George Steinbrenner was the head football coach at Northwestern, and Manager Joe Girardi is an alumni of the school.

Pittsburgh is led by head coach Pat Narduzzi and they will be making its ninth consecutive bowl appearance and 33rd all-time. They were the only team in the nation this year to defeat two “Power 5” conference champions, Penn State of the Big Ten and Clemson of the ACC.

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Barclays Center Classic: Maryland Wins It; Richmond 3rd

(Maryland fans went into a frenzy after Melo Trimble hit the game-winning shot late. Photo by Jason Schott)

Maryland won the Barclays Center Classic on Saturday night, as they outlasted Kansas State in a thriller, 69-68, while Richmond came back to beat Boston College 67-54 in the Consolation Game.

Maryland 69, Kansas State 68

Maryland led this highly competitive championship game 35-29 at halftime, and found themselves down a point, 68-67, in the final seconds.

That was when Melo Trimble, who scored 31 points against Richmond Friday night, was ready to answer the call.

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South Carolina Beats Syracuse At Barclays

(South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell draining free throws with 2:15 left in the game – Photo by Jason Schott)

South Carolina upset Syracuse, #18th in the national rankings, 64-50, in the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational on Saturday at Barclays Center.

In the first half, South Carolina set the tone with stellar defense, as they held Syracuse to 35 percent shooting (8-23 from the field) and forced them to commit 11 turnovers.

PJ Dozier scored 11 points in the first half, and Sindarius Thornwell had 10,  to lead South Carolina to a 37-26 lead at halftime.

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Barclays Classic: K-State, Maryland Win, Face Off Saturday Night

(The scene at Barclays Center during Boston College-Kansas State – Photo by Jason Schott)

At the Barclays Center Classic on Friday night, Kansas State rolled to an easy win over Boston College, while Maryland beat Richmond in overtime.

Maryland will play Kansas State in the Barclays Center Classic Championship game on Saturday night. The Consolation game between Boston College and Richmond opens the night at 7:00 pm.

Kansas State 72, Boston College 54

This game got off to a very slow start, as each time couldn’t find a rhythm early.

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Notre Dame Wins Legends Classic At Barclays; Colorado Takes 3rd

(Notre Dame’s Matt Farrell after getting a rebound in the final seconds to seal their win over Northwestern – Photo by Jason Schott)

Notre Dame outlasted Northwestern to win the Legends Classic on Tuesday night at Barclays Center, while Colorado took third place by beating Texas in the Consolation Game.

Notre Dame 70, Northwestern 66

This championship game started out evenly as Northwestern got out to a 14-12 lead in the opening minutes, but Notre Dame responded with an 11-0 run capped by a V.J. Beachem three-pointer to make it 23-14 at the 9:24 mark of the first half.

Notre Dame kept up the momentum and went up 11 points, 32-21, on a Bonzie Colson free throw at the 6:11 mark.

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Legends Classic: Notre Dame Outlasts Coloardo; Northwestern Trounces Texas

(Bonzie Colson (35) chats with Matt Farrell (5) as Steve Vasturia takes late free throws – Photo by Jason Schott)

At the Legends Classic at Barclays Center on Monday night, Notre Dame outlasted Colorado, and Northwestern put a big second half together to trounce Texas.

Notre Dame 89, Colorado 83

Notre Dame dominated this one early, as they used a 12-2 run to jump out to a 31-16 lead halfway through the first half.

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Michigan Wins 2K Classic; Pitt Takes 3rd Place

(Derrick Walton, Jr. hoists the 2K Classic championship trophy with his Michigan teammates and coaches – Photo by Jason Schott)

Michigan put on quite a show on Friday night at Madison Square Garden to win the 2K Classic Benefiting  Wounded Warrior Project with a 76-54 win over SMU.

Michigan’s Zak Irvin was the MVP of the 2K Classic, as he had 16 points, six assists, and five rebounds in their win Thursday night over Marquette, and scored 16 points again on Friday night on 6-13 shooting, 2-7 on threes, with six rebounds, and five assists.

Pittsburgh earned third place in the tournament as they beat Marquette 78-75 in the Consolation Game.

Michigan 76, SMU 54

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2K Classic Night One: SMU Comes Back on Pitt; Michigan Mauls Marquette

(Michigan’s Derrick Walton, Jr. looking to make a play against Marquette – Photo by Jason Schott)

In the 2K Classic Benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, SMU came back to beat Pittsburgh, while Michigan dominated Marquette  in the nightcap.

On Friday SMU will meet Michigan in the championship game at 7:00 pm, while Pitt will meet Marquette in the consolation game at 4:30 pm.

SMU 76, Pittsburgh 67

SMU, led by Semi Ojeleye, who had 24 points and five rebounds, had a dominant second half to outlast Pittsburgh.

Pitt led 33-31 at halftime, and 37-35 in the opening minutes of the second half.

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Kansas, Kentucky Win At Champions Classic

(The scene at the end of Duke-Kansas – Photo by Jason Schott)

Kansas beat Duke in a game that went down to the buzzer, and Kentucky blew out Michigan State at the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.

KANSAS 77, DUKE 75

Duke led this one 34-29 at halftime, led by 11 from Amile Jefferson in the first half.

The second half belonged to Kansas, as they opened up a 10-point lead, 53-43, on a Frank Mason III free throw with 10:58 left.

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